C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Brother talks on phone to Makhan Singh
Our Correspondent

Mohali, September 10
Makhan Singh, a resident of Kumbra village here, has reportedly been released today after 25 days of detention by his alleged kidnappers in South Africa.

The news about his release reached Kumbra village here in the afternoon when Makhan Singh talked to his parents, his brother and a family friend on a mobile phone from South Africa.

The family members of Makhan Singh, who had been going through lot of tension all these days, experienced joy and relief and distributed sweets.

However, on what terms and conditions was Makhan Singh released by his alleged kidnappers was not clear. It was difficult to say whether money has played any role in the release.

His mother, Mrs Surinder Kaur, who was excited after hearing the news of his son’s release, told Chandigarh Tribune that the phone call was received around 12.30 p.m. To her surprise her son talked her on the phone. She said that he was crying on the phone and could merely tell her that he had been released. She said that the real happiness to the family would come only when Makhan Singh reaches back home.

His brother, Sukhdev Singh, who had also talked to Makhan Singh said that the latter did not tell much about himself. He was crying on the phone and said that the alleged kidnappers had beaten him mercilessly.

Mr Bhupinder Sharma said that when Makhan Singh talked to him on the phone it appeared that he was still very scared and could talk very little. When asked whether any money was paid to get Makhan Singh released, Mr Sharma replied in the negative.

Mr Sharma further said that he had talked to a South African police official, Mr Pillay, on the phone asking him when would Makhan Singh be allowed to come back to India. Mr Pillay said that Makhan Singh would be sent back only after the investigations in connection with the case got completed, added Mr Sharma.

Makhan Singh was allegedly kidnapped by a gang a Punjabi youths in Durban on August 15. The kidnappers had allegedly demanded Rs 15 lakh as ransom but the amount was reduced to half after family members expressed their inability to arrange the sum.

The family had arranged Rs 5 lakh for the release of Makhan Singh and had gone to Delhi to hand over the amount at the specified address, but nobody turned upto receive the ransom. Family members said that the Punjab Police was very helpful to them in the time of crisis.



Cop’s dummy gets stuck in Sector 29
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The dummy did not go the constable Jaswinder Kaur way.

In an attempt to ascertain the facts about the Constable’s death, the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh today reconstructed the events by dumping a dummy in the sewerage pipe lines.

In fact, the dummy of approximately the same weight and size was lowered at about 8.05 am in a Sector 30 manhole. It was the same gutter in which the constable had fallen on August 16.

The Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh is serious about solving the mystery behind Constable Jaswinder Kaur’s death. The fact that Rs 40,000 was approximately spent in the preparation of dummy is a testimony to this effect.

The sources add that the Corporation wanted the dummy to be as real as possible. That’s why they hired the services of a Delhi-based artist to prepare the flexible dummy with the help of foam and plaster-of-paris. In fact, the dummy was draped in a new salwar-kameez. “We are not leaving scope for doubt,” an officer says.

The reason behind their anxiety is not hard to see. An engineer has already been repatriated to his parent state. Besides this, the Chandigarh Police has registered a case of causing death due to rash and negligent act under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code against “unknown persons”. The possibility of the cops proceeding against the Corporation officers cannot be ruled out at the current stage.

Soon after, the Corporation authorities started searching for the dummy. Though the level of the sewage was “approximately the same”, the dummy did not move far.

It was found just 900 meters away in Sector 29, struck against a steel plate lowered last year to divert the sewage flow due to repair work. Curiously, the dummy took over three-and-a-half hour to cover the distance.

A similar experiment was carried out by a Corporation engineer earlier also in an attempt to prove that the constable’s body could not have reached Mohali’s Phase XI and that also in less than four hours. For the purpose, he had dumped a sandbag in the same manhole.

He had managed to punch holes into the accidental death theory by coming out with the same results. In that case also, the sandbag had reached the same spot in approximately the same time.

The engineer — repatriated to his parent department after the constable’s death — was of the view that it was impossible for the body to reach Mohali due to the presence of the steel plate. “The body has to be dumped ahead of The Tribune office for reaching Mohali”, the engineer had asserted.

The Chandigarh Police and the constable’s family, including her husband Gurnam Singh, had tried to falsify the engineer’s claims by saying that the body was different from a sandbag. The police had gone to the extent of claiming that the Corporation staff had tried to mislead them in the initial stages of investigations.

Quoting the contents of a report prepared in the matter, the cops had asserted that there was a gap of at least two feet between the steel plate and the surface of the sewerage pipeline, enough for the body to pass.

Back in Sector 29, so many commuters stopped their vehicles along the roadside to witness the on-going probe. As they stood there watching, the Corporation staff found the dummy in a “bad” condition. The clothes it was draped in were torn at several places and a leg was broken.

The sources in the Corporation said the dummy would be allowed to stay in the sewage pipeline throughout the night to see if it managed to break free and reach another place.



Police remand for bus stand blast accused
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Ms Neerja Kulwant Kalson, today remanded Charanjit Singh, alleged accused in the Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) blast on September 8, in police custody till September 14.

While the police had demanded a 14-day remand to make more recoveries from the alleged militant and get the record of his mobile phone calls, a Legal Aid Counsel (LAC), who appeared on his behalf, opposed the police remand.

Earlier, high drama was witnessed inside the court with counsel for Hawara, Mr Amar Singh Chahal and Mr Arvind Thakur, opposing the appearance of a proxy counsel for the LAC, Mr Vikas Sagar, for the accused. Ultimately the proxy counsel was not allowed to appear for the alleged militant.

Since Mr Sagar was not available, another LAC, Mr Jaskaran Singh, was requisitioned to appear for the accused. Mr Jaskaran argued that there was no need for police remand since no recoveries were to be made from the accused.



CBI team in Panchkula to probe violence
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 10
A three-member team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrived here from New Delhi to inquire into the violence incident that took place on September 2 after the Gohana incident.

The team, led by Inspector Ajay Singh, reached here in the afternoon and will be operating from the Commando Complex at Chowki village near here. This team will be investigating what led to the arson in the township and the role of the police and civil administration to control the mob.

Sources say the team will go through the video film of the entire sequence of events done by the administration, record statements of officers, including the former Station House Officer of Sector 5, Mr Surjit Kumar, and study the course of investigation so far. Mr Kumar was suspended by the government earlier this week for allegedly failing to anticipate the arson and control the mob.

Today certain police officers, including the Station House Officer of Sector 5, Inspector Balram, met the CBI team and apprised them of the status of inquiry. The team will record statements tomorrow.



No hope of any survivor from Sutlej, says GOC-in-C
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Stating that it is unlikely that there will be any survivors amongst the 34 Army personnel who fell into the raging Sutlej after the Bailey bridge they were reconstructing at Kharo collapsed two days ago, the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman said that he had ordered a staff court of inquiry (COI) to determine the cause of the incident.

Briefing media persons at Chandimandir today after his return from the incident site, about 220 km from Shimla on National Highway 22, General Pattabhiraman said that a Brigadier from Headquarters 2 Corps, Ambala had been detailed to head the COI.

“The COI would determine whether it was human error or material failure which led to the collapse,” he said. “It will also determine whether any improvisations done to cater to meet specific requirements of the task were responsible for the mishap,” he added.

The COI would look into the quality of the metallic structures that were being used for construction of the bridge. Old as well as new material was being used. The Army is procuring the metallic structures from a Kolkata-based Public Sector Undertaking.

General Pattabhiraman, himself a sapper, said on-the-spot improvisations were required to build bridges in difficult and mountainous terrain. Every site had a challenge of its own and in this case the site was very difficult to work in and the available space was very narrow, he said. In the mountains, construction technique had to be modified and sappers may have to deviate from the rule book to accomplish the task.

The incident will delay the schedule for completing the bridge by at least seven days. Additional material to replace that lost in the collapse is being brought in from Zirakpur, Jalandhar and Bathinda. The bridge was originally scheduled to be open for traffic today.

General Pattabhiraman said while several major incidents involving Bailey bridges were reported during the Burma campaign in World War-II, post-Independence there had been two other incidents, one at Tiddim in the north east and the other in Kargil.

Terming the incident at Kharo as the biggest tragedy of its kind involving sappers, he said that there would be no let up in the Army’s efforts to spot and retrieve the bodies. Vigil was being maintained over a 40 km stretch from the site to a dam in Bhavnagar.

He said though divers from the Army and the Navy had been deployed, the current of the river, which was seven knots, was too fast for any diver to operate. Divers could operate in currents up to four knots. Given the height of the structure, high current and rocky terrain, he said that it would be a miracle if a survivor turned up two days after the incident. The Army would continue its search for about a week.

General Pattabhiraman said considering the nature of the job the troops were performing, he had recommended that those who had been killed be treated akin to battle casualties and their families be granted requisite benefits. “Though these things take time, we will try to hasten the process as much as possible,” he said.

Stating that there was no compromise on safety aspects during construction, he commended the actions of a JCO, whose presence of mind and quick reflexes saved the lives of four jawans.

When the bridge collapsed, the jawans were suspended from overhead cables to which they were attacked with safety harness and the JCO managed to pull them to safety.

Relief for next of kin

The Himachal Pradesh Government has released Rs 17 lakh as immediate relief to the next of kin of personnel from 18 Engineers, who were drowned after the bridge collapse.

The Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Rekong Peo presented the draft to the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Lieut-Gen S. Pattabhiraman during the latter’s visit to the accident site on Saturday.

Except for Lieut-Col Amarjeet Singh, who belonged to Mohali, most of the troops in this unit belong to South India. One of the officers killed was from Maharashtra. The families of only four deceased soldiers were living with them at K-Area near Zirakpur, where the unit is based. Unless the next of kin want it otherwise, the bodies, when recovered, will be cremated at Zirakpur with full service honours.



Home Minister’s advisory panel to meet after 20 years
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
After a long gap of 20 years, the Home Minister’s Advisory Committee on Chandigarh is scheduled to meet on September 26. The committee was once constituted in 2000. However, no meeting was held. The committee which meets under the chairmanship of the Home Minister in New Delhi, has never met after its last meeting in 1985.

The committee is very crucial for reviewing and suggesting new policy decisions to help administration define the development policy of the city. Sources in the administration said it was important to review the development of the city, particularly in the context of changing scenario with the coming of the IT sector in a big way.

The team of the committee from the city will be headed by the UT Administrator, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd). The other members of the team are Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, Member of Parliament, Ms Anu Chatrath, Mayor, four members of the Municipal Corporation excluding the MP, two members of the Zila Parishad, representatives of SC\STs and a woman representative.

Reliable sources in the administration said, “there is no agenda at the moment. The members have been asked to send the issues pertinent to the ministry”.

Mr Bansal said it was unfortunate that the meetings of the committee were not held regularly. He said the constitution of the advisory committee needed to be re-looked. “Under the current set-up, only leaders from the ruling party in the corporation and the zila parishads are generally given the representation. This time the party also enjoys the majority at the Centre. I think it will be better in case leaders from all major political parties, including the BJP, Akali Dal, BSP, CPI and others were given a representation,” he added.

The MP further said, “I cannot give details of the agenda at the moment. I have already sent a note in this regard to the administration which will be circulated in the House. The meeting is important in the context that many issues concerning the future growth and sustainability of the existing systems could be studied in detail to help plan for the future”.



Passing Thru

Gurbir Singh Sandhu, president, Netball Federation of India
Gurbir Singh Sandhu, president, Netball Federation of India

Being president of the NFI, how do you rate the prospects of the game in the country?

We are targeting the 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi, where netball is one of the compulsory sports.

How about the exposure accorded to netball players in the country?

NFI has always tried to provide maximum tournament participation at national and international level. The Indian netball players are nowadays in Singapore for the Asian netball meet.

What efforts and plans are being made to build team for the 2010 Commonwealth games?

As in these Commonwealth Games, it would be women event only, so we are going to have a talent base of around 50 girls in the age group below 19, who could be groomed for another five years from now.

— Arvind Katyal



Act on domestic violence may make women more safe
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
New legislation in the form of the Domestic Violence Act 2005 has provided the much needed protection to women as enshrined in the Constitution. The Act deals in detail with the issue of ‘domestic violence’ and has removed the scope for misinterpretation, according to Justice Surya Kant, a sitting Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

He was commenting on the Act and its interpretation in the social context at the two-day seminar organised by the Institute for Development and Communication (IDC) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), New Delhi, at IDC Extension Centre, Mohali.

The seminar on “Domestic Violence, Criminal Justice System and Police Women’s Cells” that concluded today raised several issues pertaining to ‘domestic violence’. It was largely felt that the definition of domestic violence given in this Act was comprehensive and would go a long way in curbing domestic violence in society.

Once Justice Surya Kant set the discussion rolling in his valedictory speech, the discussion focused on the issue and also deliberated upon the efficacy of women cells.

Participants also spoke about various provisions of the Domestic Violence Act 2005 and analysed it in context of the existing value system and normative behaviour.

Mr Sanjeev Kalra, DIG (Administration), Punjab, disclosed that only 2 per cent of the complaints received in Crime Against Women Cells in Punjab were recommended for registration of cases, in case of 55 per cent of the complaints a compromise was struck, 13 per cent of the complaints were sent for mutual divorce, 6 per cent of the complaints were found fake, about 20 per cent of the cases have been closed and about 6 per cent of the complaints were still pending.

He felt that the community stakes in women’s cells could be enhanced through wider involvement of doctors, psychiatrists, sociologists, NGOs and retired officers. Women’s cells needed to be set up at sub-division and police station levels. Besides, community representatives need to be trained in the knowledge of law, he said.

According to Prof S.L. Sharma, Director, Regional Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh, the staff deputed at the women’s cell should be specially trained to deal with victims of domestic violence.

The recruitment pattern and the training pattern needed to be redefined. Emphasis should be laid on providing gender sensitisation training.

Prof. R.S. Grewal of the Department of Law, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was of the opinion that through this Act, they were intruding into a very sensitive area which could have a devastating impact on the family. It might lead to multiplication of litigation which was not desirable. Therefore, implementation of the Act should be put into safe hands.

Director IDC, Dr Pramod Kumar, mentioned the purpose of the Act and said it aimed at checking gender abuse and provide justice to the victims in the homes. But at the same time, it had brought private abuse of women in homes into public sphere. He suggested a need for initiating a three layered interventions, first sensitisation on gender bias, differentiation and discrimination in the domestic sphere amongst the police, public and investigators.

The participants felt that another aspect that necessitated sensitisation was not to reduce this Act, either a mechanism for compromise within the established repressive norms or instrument for harassment of innocents.

There was a consensus among speakers on the need to provide awareness to community, NGOs and other stake holders on the legal provisions of the Act, gender sensitisation and awareness training to officers, coordination between various agencies and NGOs, victims rehabilitation and integration for effective implementation of the Act.



Pavement as parking lot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
It is a common sight that cars are parked on city pavements, particularly in southern sectors. Sector 30 pavements are no exception to this unlawful practice.

“There was a peculiar situation in the park opposite my house earlier this week. My son was playing cricket with his friends when their ball hit the glass of a parked Maruti of a bank employee. He started shouting at my son. There have been similar scenes in our park in the past also”, added Mrs Sunita Sharma.

Mr Ramesh Kumar, an employee in an insurance company, said “what harm my car is doing to the game of children or to the vehicular traffic on road.

It is parked on the higher ground from the road. In case the Administration makes separate parking for us I will remove my car. I don’t think there is any other way out at the moment.”



Save Sukhna plea: HUDA to move SC
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 10
The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) will be filing an application in the Supreme Court, requesting that the hearing in the “save the Sukhna” petition be taken up at the earliest. HUDA will file this application so that the case can be disposed of at the earliest and they are able to hold the draw of lots for residential plots in Sector 2 and 6 of Mansa Devi Complex (MDC) here.

The apex court has fixed November 18 as the next date of hearing. The case was adjourned on August 1 after the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Chandigarh Administration and the Government of Punjab had failed to file their reply on a Special Leave Petition filed by Dr B. Singh. The Public Interest Litigation in this regard was dismissed by Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Officials in HUDA say that they cannot float a new housing scheme till the fate of MDC housing scheme is known.

More than a year ago, HUDA floated a housing scheme in the MDC. As many as 34,000 applicants are still waiting for the draw of lots for these plots. As per rules, HUDA is supposed to hold the draw of lots within six months from the date the scheme is floated or pay the interest to the applicants. HUDA has recently announced that they would pay an interest at the rate of 5. 5 per cent.

The applicants have invested Rs 465.103 crore for the allotment of residential plots in Sector 2 and 6 of MDC.

The money, deposited as fixed deposit in a Bank, is getting HUDA a collective monthly interest of around Rs 2.60 crore.



Senior Citizens’ Day functions start with songs
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
As part of the month-long celebrations to commemorate Senior Citizens’ Day on October 1, the Chandigarh Senior Citizens Association organised a gala cultural programme at Government Museum and Art Gallery this morning. The event drew a full house and the excitement was palpable.

The programme, sponsored by the Director, Public Relations and Cultural Affairs and the UTI Mutual Fund, was tailored to suit this year’s theme, “Towards a caring society” which entails bridging the generation divide. The association also hosted a talk by Mr Negi, Branch Manager, UTI, who spoke on the benefits of investment for senior citizens.

Old songs, ghazals, skits, Punjabi folk music, and dances formed the part of the variety programme. It enthralled the senior citizens who came in large numbers. Vijay Kumar and his troupe arranged the instrumental backup.

The event was followed by tambola and a highly subsidised contributory lunch. Earlier, President PH Vaishnav thanked the members for making the two medical camps, held earlier in the month, a success. He said that while 100 patients were examined at the camp held at Sri Sathya Sai Old Age Home on September 5, as many as 300, including nearly 200 children, were examined at the camp held at Palsora village on September 8. The camp was unique in the sense that it saw the association working jointly with YTTS and the Lioness Club Panchkula Central.

The next two events are a seminar on “Towards A caring society” to be held at the government museum on September 15 and a medical camp to be organised with the Rotary Club Chandigarh at their centre in 107-A, Sector 18, by Fortis Hospital doctors on September 16.



Senior Citizens Council elects members
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The elections to the Seniors Citizens Council Sector 38, were held today after the local court vacated the stay on the holding of the elections.

Mr G.S. Sathi, Secretary General of the council, in a press release said yesterday that the court had granted stay on the holding of the elections and the declaration of results after Mr K.P. Bhagtian and Mr S.D. Kalia, both members of the council, had approached the court.

The stay was vacated today after Mr Sathi approached the court seeking permission to hold the elections. The other office-bearers are president — Dr Sukhwinder Singh; vice-president — Mr Ram Murti; Finance Secretary — Mr Magh Raj Sarma; and Joint Secretary — Mr R.N.Jain.



Swami Agnivesh on save-girl-child campaign
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Swami Agnivesh, president of the Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Delhi and president, Bandhua Mukti Morcha, while addressing mediapersons at the Chandigarh Press Club, here today, invited all those concerned about the scourge of female foeticide and to lend their support and voice of solidarity in support of the cause.

He said in order to raise awareness of this social blight and “the man-made social biases of colour and race”, a historic march was being organised for the girl child from Tankara, the birthplace of Maharshi Dayanand in Gujarat, on November 1. He said 10,000 persons would take a pledge and 250 socio-spiritual activists and religious leaders would then proceed on the march through Gujarat and would conclude at Amritsar at Jallianwala Bagh on November 15.

He said the root cause of female foeticide and infanticide remain rooted in societal attitudes and prejudices. “At a time when the birth of a girl child was greeted as the arrival of ‘Lakshmi’ the Hindu goddess of wealth is long past.” He stressed that the modern cultural preference for sons has seriously skewed sex ratios in the country radically.

Data released in a booklet entitled, ‘Missing: Mapping the Adverse Child Sex Ratio in India,’ compiled by India’s Registrar-General and the Census Commission, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and UNFPA, noted that the ratio of girls to boys in India had shown a “shocking decline in the last decade due to the elimination of girls by sex-selective abortion and infanticide practices that must end”.

The figures given are as follows:

Females per 1,000 males (2001 to 2002)

Punjab 850 to 900

Haryana 850 to 900

Chandigarh 850 to 900

Gujarat 900 to 950

According to statistics, in 1991, there were 25 million ‘missing girls’ (a phrase used by Professor Amartya Sen). A decade later, their number had swelled to 35 million and this number is increasing with the every passing year.

Swami Agnivesh said in states known for their relative economic prosperity and relatively high literacy rates, the male-female ratio is, paradoxically, acquiring frightening proportions. Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Gujarat and Rajasthan lead in declining sex ratio.

Swami Agnivesh again reiterated, “What could be a better way of setting out to eradicate the practice of foetal infanticide than to organise, mobilise and galvanise all sections of society against this scourge?”



Panchkula to have more post offices
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, September 10
The Department of Posts is planning to open three new post offices in the township. The post offices will be opened at Mansa Devi Complex, Sector 12-A and Sector 26.

While the post offices in Mansa Devi Complex and Sector 12- A will be opened by the month end, the department is in the process of identifying site for setting up the post office in Sector 26.

Officials in the department say the postal services in the township have been redefined with the concept of ‘mobile post offices’.

The role of the traditional postman has been redefined as he not just delivers post but also offers all kinds of postal stationery for sale. The postman will also carry articles to be sent via parcel, speed post and other post and deliver the receipt for booking articles the next day.

Mr Y.K. Bhushan, Postmaster, Sector 8, said new postal services introduced in the township were discussed at a meeting of the Post Forum held here today.

The forum was informed that the mobile post office scheme was introduced keeping in view the elderly population. He said ever since the scheme was introduced this year, the department had handled over 300 transactions.

The forum was also informed about the success of Direct Post Unaddressed Mail Scheme. Under this scheme, the department distributes advertisement material like pamphlets, CDs, cassettes, floppies, etc.

The advertiser contacts the department, and the postmen distribute the material among the public. This is an alternative to the distribution of advertisement material along with newspapers.

Mr Bhushan also said the transfer of foreign exchange through post offices was doing well and Panchkula had secured first position in Haryana for the highest money transfers. 



Parliamentary panel to visit city
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
The Parliamentary Committee on Chandigarh will be coming here on September 13 and 14, it is reliably learnt.

The committee headed by Ms Sushma Swaraj has 30 more members, including Mr Rahul Gandhi, Mr L.K.Advani, Mr Naveen Jindal, Mr R.K.Dhawan, Mr Ajit Jogi and Mr Sachin Pilot.

Mr S.K.Sandhu, the Finance Secretary, has been asked to prepare the background note for the agenda which are brought up for discussion. The IGP has been asked to prepare a background paper on the law and order situation and the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation has been told to list the issues concerning his department, it is learnt.



101 baptised
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
On the last day of the 12-day samagam at the Sector 28-B Nanaksar here, Baba Sadhu Singh baptised 101 persons today.

Baba Sadhu Singh, 96, has been holding special baptisation camps at various places throughout the region. According to Baba Lakha Singh, in charge of the local Nanaksar, the next programme of baptisation will be held at Mughalchak in Taran Tarn tehsil on September 14.



Gang of pickpockets active
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
If you are going to the Inter-State Bus Terminus in Sector 17 or the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Sector 12, be sure not to carry extra cash and documents in your wallet. For, a gang of pickpockets is reportedly active in these areas. No wonder, warnings about their presence have been glued on so many pillars at the bus stand.

Though senior officers of the Chandigarh Police claim that not even a single instance of pickpocketing has been reported to the cops from these places during the past few days, the sources admit that a large number of cases go unreported.

So many times the victims realise the loss of wallet only after they have boarded the bus either from the PGIMER or the bus stand. As such, they report the matter to the police only after reaching the destination.

Otherwise also, the loss of purse is reported to the police only if it carries vital documents like the driving licence or a vehicle’s the registration certificate, the sources assert.

“Many times, the victims compromise with the loss due to apprehensions of long legal formalities,” says a cop. Describing the procedure as simple, the cop says, “All you have to do is to hand over the complaint to the police and take back the copy of the daily diary report after a few minutes.”

Among the victims is Delhi resident Dharam Dev Sharma. He was returning to the national capital on Wednesday after completing some work in the city when he discovered that his purse was missing. He did not report the matter to the police as there were just Rs 200 in his wallet.

Bathinda resident Ashok Kumar’s story is hardly any different. He too was returning home on Friday afternoon after visiting his sister recently married to a businessman staying in Sector 23. Someone pulled the purse out of his trouser pocket just after he had purchased the tickets. Mr Kumar also did not notify the loss to the police because he was “in a hurry”

Save your pocket

Most of the people tend to “feel their wallet in the back pocket” if they are carrying extra cash or important documents, providing vital clue to the pickpockets. Otherwise, the cops say that your trouser’s ticket pocket is a safer place to keep cash and other documents, like driving licences. Keeping bulk of money in the bag, with little change in the wallet, is also a good option.



Mishap victim dies; garment shop burgled
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
A cyclist, hit by vehicle near the Dhillon traffic lights, succumbed to his injuries at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research here. The victim has been identified as Nar Bahadur of Nepal.

Elsewhere in the city, a garment showroom was burgled and the theft of a mobile phone, besides two vehicles, including a car, was reported to the police. A case of outraging modesty was also brought to the notice of the police.

In all the cases, the police registered criminal cases. A senior officer in the police headquarters claimed that further investigations were on, along with efforts to nab the on-the-run culprits.

Giving details, sources said a case of causing death due to rash and negligent act has been registered at Mani Majra police station in Nar Bahadur’s case.

They added that the thieves broke into the showroom in Sector 22 last night after pulling up the shutters with the help of rods, used match sticks to illuminate the place and decamped with garments and accessories worth Rs 2 lakh.

Interestingly, the thieves did not pick shoes costing less than Rs 3,000. Discounted items were also left behind. The theft was discovered by the owner this morning.

The car’s theft was reported to the Chandigarh Police by Ram Pal of Sector 49 from outside his residence. In his complaint to the police, Raman Khera of Sector 45 added that his motor cycle was taken away from the Sector 26 grain market.

The cops added that Surinder Singh of Bapu Dham colony was booked on the allegations of outraging the modesty of a minor girl. They added that in the particular case, the accused was arrested and remanded in judicial custody.

Another resident Rohit Arora claimed that Sunil Kumar of Palsora village took his mobile phone in good faith and ran away. He was subsequently taken into custody and booked by the police.

BSNL cheated

Three city residents were booked by the Chandigarh Police for making calls to foreign countries without making the payments of Rs 1.70 crore. The accused include two residents of Sector 15. The third accused is putting up on the Panjab University campus.

The sources said the accused were taking advantage of the billing system. They would leave Chandigarh and go to places like Delhi for making ISD call. By the time BSNL would receive bill from MTNL for calls made to the foreign countries, they would change the connection. The sources added that the accused purchased as many as 18 connections between 2003-04. 

Couple alleges harassment by cops

In less than a week after a couple — engaged and ready to tie the knot — accused the Chandigarh Police of harassing them, UT Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) today directed all Station House Officers (SHO) to “supervise and scrutinise all arrests, specially the ones under Section 109 of the Criminal Procedure Code”.

An Assistant Sub-Inspector, Jagdish Chander, allegedly involved in the matter was transferred to the police lines, along with Sub Inspector Ashwani Kumar reportedly involved in a similar matter. In Kumar’s case, the SHO of Sector 36 Police Station Ajaib Singh was also issued a written warning for his failure to supervise the case effectively.

The orders transferring Kumar and Chander were issued after a lapse on their part in carrying out the arrests, without verifying the facts, was prima facie established. In both the cases, the initiation of regular departmental inquiries for major punishment have also been recommended by the inquiry officers.



Taj launches Dera
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Taj Hotel, Sector 17, today launched its much awaited restaurant Dera. The restaurant exhibits a good blend of authenticity and modernity.

“The cuisines have been concocted from our successful masala series restaurants and also after a thorough research on the street foods of Lahore and Amritsar,” informed Vinu Varghese, Food and Beverage Manager, Taj.



Bank of India customer meet
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
As part of the centenary celebrations of the Bank of India, the Sector 32 branch today organised a customer meet here.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr GR Negi, Chief Manager, informed that an ATM would be installed at the branch soon.

Mr PK Aggarwal, Senior Manager, said that the branch was doing a business of Rs 128 crore.

Earlier, the branch staff took an oath to render excellent service to the customers.



Max employee wins award

Chandigarh, September 10
Mr Gian Singh, an employee of Max India Limited, Rail Majra, Nawanshahr district, won the first prize in the 18th Regional Work Skills Competition conducted by the CII at Chandigarh recently. He is the third employee from the company to win the competition and will participate in the national work skills competition to be held in Bangalore. TNS


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